My laptop froze. The solution…shut it down and then fire it back up.
My phone connection was sketchy. The solution…shut it down and then fire it back up.
My boat engine overheated. The temporary solution…shut it down and then fire it back up.
Most things will work again if you just shut it down and then fire it back up…including you.
That’s how many weeks are left from now till the end of the year.
There were some things you were going to do this year…
. that project
. that class
. that health improvement plan
. that trip
. that change
. you got busy
. life threw you a curve ball
. it got really, really hard
So you backed off, stepped away or let it fall off the radar completely.
If it was/is really that important, if it really would add value to life…
. there is still time
. just take what you have and start…today (or start again)
. stop excusing
. beauty, fulfillment and change await.
Fifteen weeks…start TODAY.
Please note that Cypress Meadows Church email address is now firstname.lastname@example.org
There are a lot of hot-buttons you can push these days, what with a political election cycle, refugee crisis, racial tension, police shootings, gun issues, immigration…just to name a few. It’s all over both traditional and social media. Posting, sharing, liking and commenting.
I’m all for public debate, the exchange of ideas, and spirited dialogues. What is bothering me is the culture of combativeness that throws civility out the window. It seems that it’s not about being right anymore…it’s about demeaning, discrediting, and destroying anyone who would disagree with you, portraying them as being imbecilic, anarchic and/or unorthodox. What’s more, many are quite willing to behave in such a demagogue-ish manner that they will wreck the system, burn relational bridges, or inflict irreparable harm if it leads to something that they could call a win.
What if we stopped shouting and took the time to listen and understand? What if we dropped our pride and humbly sought to learn from each other? What if we refused to join in the name calling, shaming, and blaming? What if we stopped rewarding boorish behavior and created an environment of civility and respect? It doesn’t mean we have to compromise our faith or agree with one another. It does mean that people I disagree with know that they as a person matter at least as much to me as my opinion on the issue. At least I think this is what the one I follow meant when He said I should love my enemies and do unto others what I would have them do to me.
Most every weekend I speak before a few hundred people who like me have a deep affection and affinity for the person of Jesus and we often find ourselves asking “How would Jesus live if He were in my shoes?”. Over the years I have encouraged everyone who shares in that same ambition to simply ask two questions: 1. What is the loving thing to say? 2. What is the loving thing to do?. Then speak and act accordingly. This week Vivian, someone from our “tribe of faith, hope and love” posted this on Facebook:
“My church, Cypress Meadows, offered us cards to hand out and invite people. Today I had the perfect opportunity while shopping at Dollar Tree. The check-out gentleman, Don, was quite the talker making comments about each person’s purchases. The lady before me had craft supplies. I happened to be buying things to make gift bags for the homeless. That led to a conversation where he said he went to a church for years, until someone told this man he wasn’t welcome, so he left. I told him about our open doors and that everyone is welcome, any nationality, any color, tattoos, piercings, green hair, believers and non-believers who are seeking. I handed him the card and invited him to join the rest of us…all sinners. He said I might just see him there. Wouldn’t that be awesome!”
Yes, Vivian that would be awesome…but so is the fact that you are someone who is striving to live as Jesus would if He were in your shoes.
You can curse the darkness or light a candle. Here’s a shout out to all the candle lighters.
One of the memories I will carry with me of the Rio Summer Olympics is that of Britain’s Mo Farah winning the men’s 10,000 meter run. In the 11th minute of the race his feet tangled up with another runner and he went down hard. By the time he got up he was left in the dust of every other entrant in the race. In dead last.
“When I fell down, I was like…ahhhh…my race is over, my dream is over”, said Farah. “But I managed to dig deep, I promised my daughter a medal and in my mind I was like, nah…I can’t let her down.”
Not only did Farah get up, he made up the distance and won the gold medal.
After the race, he said: “Things happen sometimes. It’s so easy to blame people. The things out of your control. I was just thinking…it’s okay I still have got quite a long way to go.”
So you fell. Dig deep. Get up. Run again. You still have got quite a long way to go.